First A350 XWB takes to the skies on its maiden flight

A new chapter has opened in Airbus’ 43 year history as the first A350 XWB, the world’s most efficient large twin-engined commercial aircraft, powered aloft on Friday June 14th, for its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans, the A350 XWB first flight took place over south western France. An international crew of six was on board, comprising two Flight Test Pilots, one Test Flight Engineer and three Flight Test Engineers. This first flight marks the beginning of a test campaign totaling around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 variant by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways.

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